Monday, July 11, 2016

Knee Knacker

Saturday morning we woke at 4:15am to the sound of pouring rain. Neil was preparing to start his 11th Knee Knacker. Yikes it was so wet out there!! 
On the drive there the wind shield wipers could hardly keep up with the torrential rain. Oh my...Fergus and I pulled up to the start and Neil hopped out of the car to line up for the check in, Fergus and I waved him off with a "see you at the finish!" 
The rain was really heavy at times throughout the day. Temperatures were around 15 degrees so I knew he would be warm enough. 

Neil has had the #5 in several years of the event. Pays to have a surname that starts with"A"! 
The finishing shot. Always a doozy that summarizes the journey completed. It was a good crowd at the finish line to cheer Neil in for #11. All 11 have been completed within the same 1 HR timeframe: 6:45 to 7:45. Pretty consistent given the aging that's gone on in between. 
Today was recovery day so I dragged Neil up the Flank Trail in Whistler for fine views down over Alta Lake and the Valley floor. We counted 7 bear scats in about 2 kms - must be a regular route for the Bears! 
Whistler Mountain still with lots of snow. This seems to be the case this year that despite approaching mid July, there is still lots of snow at high altitudes. Skiing is still happening on the glacier. Every day I receive a text from the mountain saying " 7th Heaven" is open! It's amazing to have such multi level sports going on. 
Congratulations Neil on an amazing day at the Knee Knacker 2016! 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Whistler Activities


Thursday night Dave, Craig, Neil and I met to do the Grouse Grind. It was the first of the season for us! The Grind is commonly referred to as Mother Natures Stairmaster. It is a 2.9km climb up the face of Grouse Mountain with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. It's a tough workout! 
Friday evening we arrived in Whistler and had time to enjoy a nice bike ride on the bike paths. 
Saturday Neil and Dave participated in the 28 km section of the Tenderfoot Boogie trail race. Helen, Fergus and I cheered them in. Here's Fergus enjoying his time in Meadowpark at the finish.  
Sunday Neil and I went back to the start of the previous day's race to enjoy the trails in the area of Brandywine. The trails were so nice for running. Here's the actual Brandywine Falls. 
Nice views of Daisy Lake. 
We were not anticipating this but we actually came upon the Whistler Bungee  jumping spot. Caught this just as the guy jumped!  I could hardly watch! 
Monday we hiked to Garibaldi Lake in Garibadi Provincial park. There is a nice trail but the first 6.5 km are fairly steep switch backs. 20 km's return in 5 hours. 
Here's our selfie at the lake. 
The lake is almost at 5,000 feet and projects a beautiful turquoise color. 
Mt. Price towers over the lake. 
Heading back down. 
We just got back to the truck in time before a severe thunderstorm rolled through the Whistler area. A few forest fires were started by lighting in the area - yikes! It rained, it hailed, it was a nasty storm! 
The next morning was so calm. Fergus and I visited the lakes in the Whistler area. It was a hot one! 
We really enjoyed our days at Whistler! Looking forward to the next time. 








Monday, June 20, 2016

Whistler Weekend


Friday was a nice weather day in Vancouver. I enjoyed a run on the seawall which is a pathway that goes around Stanley Park and surrounding area. My Fitbit showed 10km when my outing was complete. 
The tide was out and the breeze was creating some small waves rolling in. 
Friday evening we travelled to Whistler and when we arrived the moon was just over Whistler mountain lighting up the sky and highlighting the snow. The night sky was so clear and the mountain air very fresh. 
Craig and Lynette were in Whistler for the weekend celebrating his birthday. We met for dinner on Saturday night and a hike to Cheakamus Lake on Sunday. 
Cheakamus Lake is a beautiful turquoise color. 
Early evening we had a doggy walk with Boe, Josh and Jody. 
It was so nice to see the dogs having so much fun together. The humans enjoyed it too! 
Today we decided to run and bike at Lost Lake park. The park has over 100 km's of trails that are for both bikes and walkers. We finished the outing with a light lunch on the Nicklaus North (golf course) patio. Nice way to end the weekend! 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Vancouver 100 Completed!

Today Neil and I completed the final section we needed to cover on the Vancouver 100 route. We started at Nelson Creek and climbed to the top of Black Mountain and returned to Nelson Creek. We were hoping to see some other participants but I think they were home in their beds or at the Deep Cove end of the trail. One of the funny stories that emerged from this weekends event was that 2 male participants were heading home at 2:30 am after a long day on the trail. When they were traveling over the Lions Gate Bridge they were stopped at a police road block looking for drunk drivers. The police officer lunged his head into the car for the sniff test and must have been hit by a strong odour from hours on the trail but certainly not that of alcohol! Oh what a great event! This is the first time we have broken the 100km's up into sections. It provided some good weekend outings over several weeks. However, I do always  appreciate a long journey! 
Today on the trail I noticed this post with the multiple options. Amazing what you notice when you have the time to take it all in. 
Thursday I had a good outing to Buntzen Lake. 
I opted to take the trail along the lake. It is very undulating and a great workout. I hadn't been there for what seemed like years. 
Near the start of my outing I came upon this sign. Hmmm...
Then this confirmation that indeed Mr. Bear was in the neighborhood. It was very fresh! 
Then this sign appeared on the post in front of me...it says "never hike alone". I was alone! I did the sensible thing and retraced my steps. There have been many Cougar sightings of late on the local trails of Vancouver. No explanation why the Cougars are coming so close to habitation but it's a little disconcerting! Anyway, I still managed 10 km around the lake. 
I explored down by the beach. Nice peaceful area for picnics and taking in the views. I look forward to returning to the area but perhaps not alone!  
Congratulations to all those who participated in the Vancouver 100! Looking forward to next years event. Be kind to each other out there. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

More km's on the Baden Powell Trail in the Heat!


Last weekend it was pouring rain and cold. Wow what a change! Today the temperature was 35 degrees C and hot hot hot! So hot we stayed home and puttered in the garden. It was a good rest day after Friday and Saturday's outings. 
Friday Neil and I started on the Baden Powell trail at Cypress Mountain parking lot and climbed up Black Mountain, continuing past the highest point to check snow conditions in the woods towards Eagle Bluffs. We found a few patches of snow but really very little given all the snow that was there just a few short weeks ago. Now, just mud remains!
We decided to turn around knowing we could get the Nelson Creek to Eagle Bluffs section next weekend on our final outing to complete the V100. We retraced our steps and continued past the parking lot at Cyoress through the "Enchanted Forest" to the top of the Hollyburn Chute. Then back the same way to the car at Cypress. A solid days work! 
The ski runs on Hollyburn were free of snow. We were expecting snow and slushy travels. What a pleasant surprise! 
The Hollyburn lodge is being rebuilt! As we approached the lodge we could hear saws and hammers wondering what the noise was. Looking forward to seeing the project completed. 
Saturday Neil, Dave and I started at Cleveland Dam to cover the section to the top of the Hollyburn Chute on the Baden Powell where we turned around the day before coming from the other direction. It was a good steady climb for 8km's and the return back down. We saw a few V100 participants in action along the way. Another good days work on the trails with the heat turning up! One more section to go to complete the 2016 Vancouver 100! See you next weekend Baden Powell Trail! Hopefully in a wee bit cooler temps! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

50km on the Baden Powell

Wow was it raining on Saturday! Our plan was to start at 10 am in Deep Cove and travel to Lynn Canyon return to Deep Cove. We poured another cup of coffee and tried to talk each other out of it and also into it as the weather was so nasty.  On the 20th floor at the condo the rain was so thick it looked like snow. We did eventually get out there after some hesitation just an hour later than planned.  It was just Neil and I so no worries. I wore my "Norway" purchased jacket, hat and gloves. What a test for our rain gear! I kept it all on the entire 25km journey which is so unusual for me to not remove at least my hat or gloves.  Amazing - the Norway jacket was not wet on the inside! My under layers were wet from sweat but the jacket stopped the rain! 
We saw a few people early on in Deep Cove wearing rain ponchos but did not pass anyone else until we came upon a fellow ultra runner - Baldwin! He is training for the Knee Knacker (Neil too!) it was great to catch up briefly but we had to keep moving after a few minutes as we all started to get cold quite quickly. 
The trails were running with rain! I was pleased to turn around at Lynn Canyon as I felt like we had been out there long enough in such conditions. Now 
that is 25km on the Baden Powell all going towards completing 100kms by the 
V100 deadline. 
Sunday morning we woke to glorious sunshine! Thankfully our gear had dried well over night and we set out again starting at Cleveland Dam just below Grouse Mountain to travel to Lynn Canyon from the other direction return to Cleveland. It is a bit crazy traffic wise with road construction in the Grouse area. Now that's another 25km today on rough terrain. That's 50km in the bank for Vancouver 100. We have another 50km to go on the very snowy section over the next few weekends. Good times on the Baden Powell - today I found myself reminiscing about all the events and trail companions that have tackled this trail over the years. We have been so fortunate to enjoy the trails over the years! Until next time...happy trails! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Trip to Lethbridge, Alberta

Work brings Neil to Lethbridge, Alberta a few times a year. This trip I decided to tag along. Lethbridge is located in southern Alberta, only one hour north of the Alberta/Montana (USA) border and a one hour drive to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We flew to Calgary, rented a car and drove 2.5 hours south to Lethbridge. I've been here a few times before but this trip we hit a nice weather window of not too hot or too cold, no bugs, no wasps, no snakes (Neil got hit by a bull snake once in an ultra event here). I enjoyed my days of exploring. The first day I did a few loops of Henderson Lake a man-made lake in the center of town. 
Henderson Lake. It has a nice pathway all the way around it. 
In the evening Neil joined me to refresh my memory of the Lost Souls Ultra route. It starts and finishes near this rail bridge which is the highest and longest of its type in the world. The next day I enjoyed an outing on a section of the course. 
The trail takes you under the bridge. Glad a train was not on it when I crossed under it! 
The trail is a dirt path through desert like conditions. Nice to see where you are heading! 
The wild flowers were blooming. The butterfly landed just when I took the photo! 
I spotted a few cactuses along the way. 
The trail has lots of ups and downs that are short and steep. These can be slippery in wet/muddy conditions. 
I came upon a few of these ant hills on the side of the trail. They freaked me out! They were active with ants running in and out. I was itchy for the rest of the day! 
The trail also has some switch backs, bridges and stairs. 
Neil joined me for a nice evening stroll by the "Old Man River". He was showing me some of the Lost Souls route. It really gets very isolated quite quickly. 
Nice view of the river and the hills. Overall a great trip to southern Alberta, I'll have to tag along again on another trip!